The price of alcohol matters because when the price of alcohol goes down, consumption of alcohol goes up. The more affordable alcohol becomes, the more people use it, and the more harm we experience because of it. Alcohol is much cheaper to buy now than two generations ago; alcohol sold in the UK is 64% more affordable than it was in 1987 and drinking habits have changed: people drink less in pubs/restaurants (on-sales) and more at home, as it is much cheaper to buy alcohol in supermarkets/shops (off-trade).
One of the most effective and cost-effective ways for society to minimise the damage from alcohol consumption is by regulating the price. This is why SHAAP was the first organisation to call for Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP), with publication of the report, ‘Price, Policy and Public Health’ in 2007.